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For the past two years LifeSize has been focused on moving away from the more traditional video collaboration infrastructure consisting primarily of fixed configuration hardware appliances or fixed configuration software towards a configuration that offers the customer a flexible, simple to use, fully software-based application infrastructure. Last January LifeSize launched its Universal Video Collaboration (UVC) Platform consisting of three applications UVC Video Center (HD video streaming and recording), UVC Transit (firewall/NAT traversal) and UVC Access (IP routing and call control). June saw the addition of the UVC Video Engine for Microsoft Lync. Then in August LifeSize launched the industry’s first virtualized, standards-based Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) which we reviewed.
Today, LifeSize announces a further augmentation of its UVC platform that furthers its strategy to offer a video collaboration platform that lets customers dynamically spin up ports all at one location or distributed around the world where and when they need it, but managed simply, centrally and consistently. New enhancements to its UVC Platform are the addition of support for Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization, an all-new video management application, LifeSize UVC Manager and enhancements to LifeSize UVC Video Center.
Microsoft Hyper-V support has been on the short list of midmarket customers from a few hundred to a few thousand employees because of its cost competitiveness and integration with Windows. Today, according to LifeSize, over 90 percent of virtual environments exist on Microsoft Hyper-V (approx. 25 percent share) or VMware (approx. 65 percent share). The UVC Platform now supports both, extending the benefits of choice and flexibility to a broader set of customers.
LifeSize has had a non-virtualized management application in the past. This new app has been completely rewritten, virtualized and fully integrated into the software-based UVC infrastructure. UVC Manager is now an all-in-one video management application designed to save IT time and resources. It comes with a free management proxy, so IT administrators can manage their video devices behind firewalls and NATs. Its Smart Scheduler software and Automatic Call Establishment frees administrators from manual scheduling, configuration and upgrades. A proactive alarm management system keeps administrators informed with on-the-go email alerts and graphical reports. UVC Manager also features a variety of reporting functions that provide statistics for ROI tracking. Key features are:
LifeSize UVC Video Center now includes the following features:
To Customers: LifeSize UVC solutions play well in the midmarket – organizations with a few hundred to a few thousand employees that have some regional, national or global scale. Principal verticals are Education and Health Care. Within this space, the key demographic are organizations with IT capability that are not net new to video and want to have some control over how they manage their environment. The UVC Platform certainly gives them flexibility do so.
Three solution differentiators that prospective customers should consider in choosing their video collaboration solution are:
This is a good solution in a very competitive and dynamic market. Bottom line, then, for customers is to do their due diligence and carefully scrutinize and compare competitive offerings from LifeSize, with those from Avaya, Cisco, Polycom and Vidyo and others on the market, for the right fit – no one size fits all – in terms of the risk-adjusted benefits and TCO. These benefit/cost assessments of alternative systems need to consider the solution’s impact on productivity improvement, CapEx and OpEx, business continuity, data security, etc. Risk considerations need to cover such items as: the impact of the new system on competitive differentiation; ability to scale to meet demand; and alignment of future business requirements with currently offered feature/functionality and the solution’s technology roadmap and, of course, interoperability.
For Partners: LifeSize goes to market worldwide through its reseller channel. It doesn’t sell direct. We noted back in August when we reviewed the UVC Multipoint that partners would have the opportunity to engage in sales to CIOs and IT management around the benefits of deploying and managing a single virtualized infrastructure in the datacenter resulting in:
This is still true. Moreover, the LifeSize roadmap which includes a 90-day refreshment cycle should certainly open up new business opportunities.
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Communications Integrated to Optimize Business Processes.
UC integrates real-time and non-real time communications with business processes and requirements.
Uses presence capabilities for coordination, and presents a consistent unified user interface and experience across multiple devices and media types.
Learn more at What is Unified Communications all about?